Why Are My Eyes Staying Red?

Red eye is very common and mostly a temporary problem that resolves itself in a day or two. You may not even be aware your eyes are red if you’re not standing in front of a mirror. 

There are many reasons for red eye and, though most are harmless, there are some situations where you’ll need specialist-level medical attention. 

Contact Accent Vision Specialists anytime you’re concerned with your eye health, such as when your eyes remain red three or four days after onset. Dr. Dwight Thibodeaux and Dr. Paul Tachau are experienced optometric physicians who can diagnose your eye condition and provide relief. 

The appearance of red eye

Not every case of red eye looks the same, apart from the appearance of a red color. 

You may see dilated blood vessels throughout the sclera — the white part of your eye — or there may be a red or pink shade more evenly distributed across your eye. 

In some cases, the red color might be your only symptom. Sometimes other symptoms occur simultaneously, including: 

When you have red eye, one or both eyes may be affected. 

Common causes of red eye

If your eyes are chronically red and it’s hay fever season, you may know from past experience that your eyes react to the seasonal allergens

Other airborne irritants, such as smoke, air pollution, dust, chemical fumes, or the drying effects of overexposure to sunlight, aren’t as predictable. If any of these are causing your red eye symptoms, taking a break from these irritants can bring relief. 

If you wear contact lenses, your eyes may become irritated from time to time. The same is true when you spend lots of time using digital devices. Extended screen time slows your blink rate, reducing the benefits of tear coverage. 

Other lifestyle issues, such as smoking, alcohol intake, and sleep disorders, are all common causes of eye irritation and red eye. 

Medical reasons for red eye

Your red eye may also develop due to medical reasons like conjunctivitis, dry eye, and infections.

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is a condition defined by its effects on your eyes’ appearance. Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction.

Dry eye results from an imbalance of the three components of your tears. Dry eye may feel dry, but it also causes some people to have very wet eyes as the saline component of tears starts to overproduce. In either case, chronic redness may be an issue. 

Inflammation of the cornea or middle eye can also cause redness. Infections that lead to red eye symptoms may start with bacteria, fungi, or viruses. 

When to seek medical care for red eye

If your red eye doesn’t clear up in a few days, it’s time to visit our office. There are rare circumstances when care is more urgent. Call us immediately if your red eyes are accompanied by: 

For the treatment of red eye or any other eye concern, contact our office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, today. We offer same-day urgent care appointments so you don’t have to wait.

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